Hundreds of Salford residents will receive their first Covid-19 vaccine this week as the mass vaccination programme begins across England.
The first community vaccination centre has opened at Clarendon Leisure Centre on Liverpool Street, with several other centres to open across Salford in the next few weeks.
The nation-wide vaccination programme is invite only, starting with people aged over 80, as well as care home staff and residents.
This comes after Salford Royal Hospital was chosen as a lead provider of the vaccine for Greater Manchester last week.
Sylvia McNulty was the first person to have the vaccine at Clarendon Leisure Centre.
She said: “I had a lovely experience getting the vaccine and the staff were lovely too.
“My late father was born where the Clarendon Leisure Centre is now and we both had businesses in the Langworthy area, so it was great to get the vaccine there.
“I’m thrilled that I can now start to join centres and feel confident about going out again after having the vaccine.”
People who get the Pfizer vaccine will need two separate doses, 21 days apart, with full protection coming after 28 days from the second dose.
The site, which is being run by Salford Primary Care Together (SPCT) along with NHS Salford Clinical Care Commissioning Group (CCG), are organising and delivering the community vaccinations programme.
#Clarendon Leisure Centre will be closing on Monday 14 December to become a venue for the NHS #COVID19 Vaccination Service. Find out more about what this means, especially if you are a member https://t.co/yG35b5Dp7m pic.twitter.com/kBqBiZZIHf
— Salford Community Leisure (SCL) (@SalfordLeisure) December 10, 2020
Peter Roberts got his vaccine on Wednesday December 16 and was happy with the overall process.
He said: “My overall experience of getting the vaccine was brilliant. I received a phone call to invite me and I was booked in straight away.
“I was given a specific time slot and there were no problems with the jab, it’s nothing to worry about. I’d like to encourage everyone invited for their vaccine to get booked in.”
He added: “I can’t wait for my second jab so I can get back out into the community.”
The news of mass vaccinations within the community comes after today’s announcement that Greater Manchester will stay in tier three.
Dr Nick Browne, Salford CCG’s Covid-19 lead, said: “I’m so pleased that the vaccine is now available and being given to those most at risk within our community.
“I’d like to thank GPs, nurses and other primary care health care professionals who are helping deliver the first vaccine in a safe and effective way.
“Hopefully this is a step forward to getting back to normal at some point in the future.”
People are being advised to wait for an invite for the vaccine, and should not contact their GP to ask for it sooner.
For more information about the Covid-19 vaccine, please visit: https://www.salfordccg.nhs.uk/live-well/covid-19-vaccine